Archive for July, 2009

Firebug 1.4.2

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 has Firebug 1.4.2, an incremental update on Firebug 1.4.1 with these fixes:

  • Issue 2114: E4X objects can no longer be inspected in 1.4.0
  • a11y (Accessibiltiy) support for panel search in CSS, DOM and script panels
  • Issue 2105: POST Data not fully viewable if a parameter string is wider the the screen
  • Issue 2101: right click copy/paste
  • Update locale cs-CZ, ja-JP
  • New locale uk-UA (Ukrainian)


Followups on the newsgroup please.

Firebug 1.4.1

Monday, July 27th, 2009 has Firebug 1.4.1, an update of Firebug 1.4 with many bug fixes. While we don’t have the resources to create a proper change log for the complete bug list, a close approximation include the fixes on the 1.5 branch starting with 1.5a16 and including 1.5a20. Those changes are described in these blog posts:

We expect this to be the last bug fix release of 1.4. We may release addition localizations or locale updates as they become available.


Please post followups to the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.5a20

Monday, July 27th, 2009 has released Firebug 1.5X.0a20.This version does not hide the Firebug UI on when you reload a page.

This release contains the following fixes that will also be in 1.4.1.

  • Issue 2092: Copy does not appear on context menu in Net pane
  • Update locale sv-SE
  • Issue 2127: wrong delete icon for watch panel entries
  • Issue 2124: Search options popup not keyboard accessible
  • Issue 2070: Stack trace in 1.4 not resolving function names
  • Issue 2086: Source links incorrectly positioned in error stack trace

Some fixes are 1.5 only:

  • Issue 2118: Persist and scroll to bottom
  • Issue 2117: “Persist” setting persists…


Please post followups to the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.5a19

Friday, July 24th, 2009 has Firebug 1.5a19 with the following fixes:

  • Issue 2110: Firebug 1.4 disables JavaScript on (also for 1.4.1)
  • Issue 2007: console.error only accepts 1 argument (part for 1.4.1)
  • Issue 1187: Persistent Panels for Firebug (1.5 only)
  • Issue 1723: Firebug hides when ‘Tools:Clear Private Data’ (clearing cache) is chosen (also for 1.4.1)
  • Issue 2093: Copy in net pane adds extra new-lines
  • Issue 2096: dynamic iframes refresh the console

Note that this version previews persistent Console, an often-requested feature. When the Persist button is pressed, ConsolePersist, the the console will copy info from old to new Console when you reload a page.

Two small activation related features are removed, On By Default and Log Activation URLs. These will reappear in Honza’s FireStarter extension.


Please followup on the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.5a18

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 has Firebug 1.5a18 with the following fixes planned for 1.4.1:

  • Issue 2077: Reload after break on error results in blank page
  • Issue 1948: AJAX callback not fired in Firefox 3.5 + Firebug 1.4b3
  • Issue 1860: console.log prints undefined where alert prints a value when ‘%’ appears in log string.
  • Locale updates: Hungarian hu-HU, Polish pl-PL. Romanian ro-RO, Russian ru-RU

In addition there are previews of two features that will ultimately be moved into Honza’s Activation extension:

  • Implement onByDefault option (Firebug > Firebug Icon Menu > Options > On By Default). Firebug will be active on every page, unless you hit “Off”. Once you hit Off on a page, Firebug won’t open for that page until you explicitly turn it on.
  • Implement log activation URIs. (Firebug Status bar icon > Right click > Log Activation URIs). Prints into the Console panel of the seletected web page in the tab browser.


Please post followups to the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.4 Activation

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Firebug users like to mix debugging with web browsing. Since debugging can take up lots of machine resources, Firebug  supports ways for users to control the amount of resource and when that resource is used. In Firebug 1.4 there are two mechanisms:

  1. Web pages can be active or inactive.
  2. The panels Console, Script and Net can each be disabled or enabled.

We’ll just look at the activation part here. See Honza’s post for more info and the panel enablement.

Firebug maintains a whitelist and a blacklist of activation URIs.

  • greybug When you open Firebug, the selected Firefox tab has its activation URI is added to the whitelist.
  • 1.4.0-window-controls When you push the Firebug Off button,  the selected Firefox tab has its activation URI added to the blacklist.

The mapping of web page URI to activation URI is controlled with the option Activate Same Origin URL:


If you have Activate Same Origin URL checked (ON, the default), then the activation URI is created by taking the top two level of domain from the host portion of the the web page URI’s prepath. For example, would have an activation URI of

If you have Activate Same Origin URL unchecked (OFF), then the activation URI is the web page URI. In this case, Firebug also looks at links you click: if they have the same host as an active page, the resulting page will be placed on the whitelist and thus becomes active.

User commands (On) is stronger than Blacklist; Blacklist is stronger than Whitelist.

The lists are implemented as page annotations named firebug/history; the black list has annotation firebugged.closed; the whitelist has annotation firebugged.showFirebug.


Please post followups to the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.5a17

Monday, July 20th, 2009 has Firebug 1.5a17, a preview of fixes that will appear in Firebug 1.4.1

  • Issue 1931: Inspect causes duplicate HTTP request
  • Issue 2042: “Reload to activate window console” doesn’t go away
  • Issue 2049: Firebug opens on mouse down (it does not wait for mouse up)
  • Issue 2054: update close icons
  • New locale Russian ru-RU

This version also prevents Firebug from opening “system” URLs, like  about:blank, about:config etc. We may be able to relax this later, but for now the restriction is needed for FBtest 1483 to pass. Every page load seems to begin with “about:blank” being loaded,  and when system URLs are allowed, Firebug gets distracted by that extra window.


Please post followups to the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.4.0 Accessibility Features

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

One of the major advances in Firebug 1.4.0 is comprehensive accessibility support. This includes:

  • Navigation and activation of all Firebug controls through keys alone. (Tools > Firebug > Enable Accessibility Enhancements)
  • Focus indications in the UI
  • Key-command rebinding support. (Tools > Firebug > Customize Shortcuts)
  • Support for screen readers for visually impaired developers.

There area already two excellent posts about this feature:

Plus this is just a start, Mozilla will be supporting development of Firebug tools for developers to apply in creating accessible web sites.

Thanks again to Hans for this great feature.


Please post followups to the newsgroup.

Minimizing Firebug 1.4

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

This is an update of the “Minimizing Firebug 1.4a22” post back in April.

“Minimizing” Firebug means that the Firebug user interface is hidden but all of the function of Firebug is active.  As far as we know, the two major use cases for this feature are

  1. To check the full page design,
  2. To monitor pages for errors.

In the “check the design” case, the user may rapidly alternate between minimized and unminimized, so Firebug 1.4 wants this toggle to be simple.

There are three ways to minimize Firebug: 1) Statusbar icon, 2) keybinding, 3) icon.

  1. If you start with Firebug closed, the status icon will be grey: greybug If you click it, Firebug will open and (if you have the panels enabled) the icon will be orange:orangebug Another click on the status bar icon will minimize Firebug; the icon will remain orange since Firebug is still running.  More clicks will alternate between restoring the Firebug UI and minimizing it.
  2. If you use the default key binding, F12 (function key twelve), will fire the same event as the status bar icon click
  3. The upper right hand menu has a new icon set, 1.4.0-window-controls, the first icon, [_] minimizes Firebug. The second icon, the overlapping windows means detach Firebug into a standalone external window, but you can also think of it as “Maximize Firebug”, since mostly folks use it to get more screen size for Firebug. The last one, offActive Off, means “Turn  Firebug Off ” for this page.

Notice that On and Off are not toggles in Firebug 1.4: you use the statusbar icon to turn  On a page and the offActive icon to turn it off. That is because the Off destroys any data Firebug has saved for the page.  So we deliberately use different buttons in different places for these functions.

If you are a 1.3 Firebug user, you may be accustomed to a red [X] icon in the upper right corner that implemented minimize. The offActive Off button in the upper right does not implement minimize in Firebug 1.4.


Please followup on the newsgroup.

Web Debug Protocol group

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

This post is aimed at debugger developers only: We have started an effort to create a standard remote web-debug protocol on the group WebDebugProtocol. The group is new-user moderated, so your first post will be delayed.

If you are not a debugger-developer but you meet one in a bar, please point them over to the group.